(NaturalNews) The maca plant is a product from South America, and it was originally found in large quantities in the Andean mountains of Peru. The Peruvians like to use maca flour for baking as a base and a flavoring ingredient.
It has long been known to normalize the body's stress response and of course provide help to people coping with certain sexual dysfunctions. As an adaptogen, rather than triggering hormones that affect the body's inner balance, maca simply stabilizes and regulates metabolism. Generally speaking, it's quite a reliable herb to help reduce fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression and sleep problems.
It is quite rich in various nutrients, especially calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B1 and B12, vitamin C and fatty acids. Limited research has shown its ability to somewhat increase HDL cholesterol levels over time.
Although maca is believed to offer various health benefits, most of the serious studies mainly revolve around its ability to counter sexual or menopausal symptoms and problems. There is also hope that it may be able to prevent or diminish prostate enlargement.
Prostate size can be reduced with maca extracts
The Asian Journal of Andrology published a study showing that maca has the ability to diminish prostate size. Different maca root extracts were basically given to male rats with induced prostatic hyperplasia. The results showed that hydroalcoholic or aqueous extract of red maca was the most capable of reducing the overall weight and size of the rats' prostates.
The BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study aiming to verify if maca root preparations could be considered as an alternative to help treat certain sexual dysfunctions in men or women. Clinical trials were performed by two independent authors and on voluntary male and female adults. The results of these tests showed extremely positive outcomes as far as increasing sexual desire in either healthy menopausal women or adult males. Encouraging results were also noted for patients suffering from erectile dysfunctions.
In another study that lasted for at least four months, men aged between 22 and 44 were orally given maca extracts in order to study its effects on their reproductive system. The researchers found that the semen volume, the total sperm count and the sperm motility all substantially increased, while hormone levels surprisingly remained stable throughout the process.
Other studies demonstrated that hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression and fatigue, which are all possible menopausal symptoms, could be contained and diminished by maca extracts.
Lastly, a study involving rats showed that maca was able to increase litter size, therefore backing the initial assertion about its effectiveness in increasing fertility. Limited research was also able to show that maca seemed capable of reversing male infertility due to lead exposure.